Sunday, 19 June 2011

Bedpans and Bobbysocks - Barbara Fox and Gwenda Gofton

Gwenda and best friend Pat decide to go work in Cleveland for a year. They do it for the adventure and to see how different nursing is in the US. During that year the buy a car and take trips to nearby cities and States. Not happy on just seeing this alone they decide to travel America once their year is up. They pack up the car and take three friends with them. Somehow they manage to get to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico, to name a few places, before heading back to Cleveland and preparing for home.

I picked this up because I start college after the summer in the hopes that it will lead to nursing. I have been curious about what others think of the profession and I thought it best to get my reading in now. I am sure once I start my course it will be the last thing I want to read about.

I was under no illusion that this would be more of a travel book than a nursing memoir. There was some references to nursing and their having to get used to some of the differences. For example, coming from the NHS it felt odd to them that patient care was determined by what they could pay. They did do some private nursing which also felt a little odd to them (I am sure private nursing isn't that much different here). They were also shocked when they came across racism (although not directed at them). This irritated me a little as racism is also a problem here in Britain and especially during the 1950s. It's hard to believe that having worked in both Newcastle and London they didn't come across it once.

Other than that it was a good travel book. I enjoyed reading about their journey across America and the friends they made. I imagine that journey would be very different now. It was an easy read and good fun. I think I was almost as sad as they were once the adventure was over.


  1. I love it too. It came about because the author was shocked to see that women of any age wore bobby socks. It took some getting used to and it was commented on a lot through out the book.